Keeping First Responders on High Alert With Security Intelligence

Posted: 17th June 2020

For first-responder organizations, keeping IT infrastructures secure isn’t mission-critical — it’s life-critical. If a threat actor hacks the network and disrupts communications or access to data, people’s lives could be at stake.

A major challenge IT teams at first-responder organizations face is that end-users are more susceptible to cyberattacks under the pressure of an emergency event. That makes them more likely to open harmful links or attachments as they interact with applications and devices.

Just like their frontline colleagues, IT teams providing security services for first-responder organizations need to be at complete readiness at all times. The security measures they deploy must function properly 24x7x365 so that medical, fire, law enforcement, and military personnel can always act immediately, without having to worry about technology slowing them down.

Diligent care is required to ensure policies and tools are in place to provide proactive measures to protect digital assets and data, as well as user devices and accounts. Security needs to happen automatically, so first responders can turn all of their focus toward the people they help.

6 Security Intelligence Principles Keep IT Teams on High Alert

Recorded Future’s security intelligence philosophy solves these cybersecurity challenges, so IT teams at first-responder organizations can focus on doing their jobs. It encompasses six principles that comprise a framework for building a comprehensive security strategy that help keep IT teams on high alert. Here is how security intelligence empowers IT teams at first-responder organizations:

  1. Brand Protection: Fake accounts, apps, and websites are often designed to profit from maliciously redirected or accidental traffic. These can all also result in major damage to your organization’s reputation. Protecting your brand with security intelligence empowers you to defend your organization’s most valuable asset with real-time alerts based on aggregated data from domain registration sites, social media profiles, web pages containing malicious content, and other sources. Recorded Future makes it easy to find and take down typosquat domains, leaked credentials, bank identification numbers, fake social media accounts, code leaks, and mentions of your brand appearing in dark web markets.
  2. Third-Party Risk: Digital connections with your suppliers, partners, contractors, agents, temporary workers, and others are critical to your business. Organizations typically share confidential and sensitive information with hundreds of third parties. However, your organization is only as secure as its weakest link. It’s estimated that more than half of all businesses have suffered data breaches through vulnerable third parties. Contextualized third-party risk management from Recorded Future enables you to make informed decisions and reduce your overall risk with real-time security intelligence about all of the companies within your ecosystem.
  3. SecOps and Response: Security operations and incident response functions are only effective when they can efficiently identify and respond quickly to relevant, previously unknown threats. Recorded Future enables IT teams to make fast, confident decisions based on external threat indicators — automatically correlated with internal threat data in real time, and at scale across vast amounts of data and without any manual research.
  4. Threat Intelligence: Effective threat intelligence teams require a combination of knowledge, data, and context to prevent or mitigate cyberattacks. Recorded Future uses machine learning and automation to aggregate data in real time from open, closed, and technical sources. These technologies then provide searchable context on who is attacking your organization, their motivations and capabilities, and the indicators of compromise to look for in your systems — so you can make informed and timely security decisions.
  5. Vulnerability Management: Vulnerabilities put your business at risk of attack, and with thousands of critical vulnerabilities emerging each year, it’s impossible to patch everything. Vulnerability management from Recorded Future scores risks based on real-time exploitation trends to give you the context you need to make faster, more confident decisions when prioritizing patches and preventing attacks.
  6. Geopolitical Risk: To defend against and respond to attacks on executives and physical entities, security teams need timely and contextual intelligence. Recorded Future accelerates your critical decision-making with contextual OSINT data on geopolitical threats and trends, empowering you to understand shifting dynamics in the geographic areas that matter to your organization, so you can protect your people and assets around the globe.

Simply put, security intelligence empowers you to disrupt adversaries. By producing a common understanding of external and internal risks, as well as threats related to citizens and third-party partners, security intelligence accelerates risk reduction across your organization’s entire IT ecosystem.

Security Intelligence in Action: 3 First Responder Use Cases

Security intelligence principles enable security teams at first-responder organizations to prioritize their time and resources so they can focus on real-world cyber risk. Here are three examples:

  1. Protecting Devices: When electronic devices don’t work properly due to malware, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, and other emergency responders can’t do their jobs — whether they’re collecting data en route to an incident, or using devices onsite to assess a situation. Defending against malware is often hampered when IT teams waste time responding to false-positive alerts that come from their SIEM, EDR system, or other security technologies. Security intelligence weeds out false alerts and prioritizes relevant ones, enabling response teams to immediately mitigate genuine threats.
  2. Safeguarding Personal Information: Many cyber incidents occur for months before IT teams detect them. The longer the process takes, the greater the risk to all the personal information stored by first-responder organizations — and the greater the costs to mitigate the breach. Security intelligence minimizes losses by enabling security teams to identify compromised assets (including personal information) the moment they turn up for sale on the dark web. This drastically reduces the time it takes to identify and contain a breach.
  3. Improving Resource Allocation: When IT security resources are limited, making smart decisions on how to invest in resources is essential. This includes the utilization of personnel and outside partners, as well as the deployment of technologies and the development of security policies and procedures. Security intelligence empowers first-responder organizations to minimize cyber risk by making informed decisions about which technologies to invest in, who to hire, who to partner with, and which policy and procedure initiatives to prioritize.

With security intelligence, first-responder organizations are able to defend their brand reputations and maintain trust with citizens and partners. They can even share security information with citizens and third-parties to assist in protecting their sensitive information.

Hope of Ransom Pay-Offs Increase Cyber Targeting

Cybercriminals know that first-responder organizations can’t afford IT disruptions during emergencies. So, they assume their victims will quickly pay ransoms rather than letting their IT infrastructure be held hostage. Even if an organization refuses to pay a ransom, this perception still makes first responders a prime target.

However, by implementing security intelligence, first-responder organizations can eliminate the likelihood of ransom attacks. They can also better protect their digital assets, as well as the sensitive information of citizens and partners.

First responders can also use online tools more securely to collaborate and leverage cutting-edge technologies like the cloud, IoT, AI, and mobile. Gaining these capabilities will further enhance digital transformation efforts and help improve the emergency services that first responders can deliver to citizens.

Start making your move toward security intelligence today. Download the second edition of “The Threat Intelligence Handbook” now to find out how the security intelligence philosophy provides a comprehensive approach to your security strategy.